Verisign Explores Blockchain for Domain Security System

Nikhilesh De
Oct 27, 2017 at 06:30 UTC
NEWS

One of the oldest internet security firms is exploring applications for blockchain in the field of domain name services.

According to a patent application released by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Thursday, Verisign is considering using blockchain technology as part of a potential new DNS Security Extension (DNSSEC) project. 

DNSSEC protocols exist to protect users from accidentally being sent to malicious websites disguised to look like real ones. These protocols verify that the website the user is trying to reach is the one they actually reach.

Verisign proposed potentially building a system which uses a public ledger on a blockchain to store digital certificates, public keys or other authenticating objects.

The DNSSEC protocol would compare the authenticating objects stored on the ledger with the ones returned by the website to confirm they match. Other iterations of the protocol would use public and private keys as an additional security measure.

The use of a blockchain ensures that the objects stored on the ledger are immutable, affirming that the objects are secure from hacking or malicious attacks.

According to the application:

"A relying party can look up the information from the public ledger by specifying the hash value, and validate that the information so obtained is correct by comparing the received information's hash value to the specified value."

While the company outlines a number of potential methods for implementing a DNSSEC protocol, it has not indicated any plan to proceed with the development of a new system yet.

Still, the idea that blockchains can be used to store keys for websites is not new, with a number of projects and startups already seeking potential ways to manage web domains using various forms of the technology.

Gate image via Shutterstock

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